Jeremiah and Lamentations: 19 (The Preachers Commentary)

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But He may indicate some reason for his strokes. As a Christian Worker: Your earnest endeavors have failed. You suppose that some new method will bring success. There may be some reason in yourself which will account for all. Ask God to discover it. When you see it in his light, you will be surprised that you never saw it before; and you will cease to wonder that those over whom you have longed have never yielded to the love of God.

It is useless to have visions of a lovely and holy life, unless you are willing to have your iniquity discovered and destroyed. Oh for faithful prophet-voices to do their office for us! Lamentations 3. In these first words he strikes the keynote, and reveals this identification with the people in the experience of affliction. On the basis of this recognition he uttered his appeal to the people, including himself, as he said: people, us search and try our ways. As we have said, that which is most impressive in this song is the identification of the prophet with the people and with God.

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He recognized the necessity for the suffering, but he suffered with the sufferers. If that be so of the messenger of God, it is supremely so of God Himself. In that realm of thought we ultimately and inevitably reach the Cross. Samuel squatted before his son and looked him in the eye. Hours later, a powerful earthquake rocked the area. The radio announced that there were thousands of casualties. Samuel then grabbed his coat and headed for the schoolyard.

When he reached the area, what he saw brought tears to his eyes. Other parents were standing around crying. He then grabbed a rock and put it to the side, and then grabbed another one. Samuel set his jaw and kept working. As time wore on, one by one, the other parents left. Then a firefighter tried to pull Samuel away from the rubble. All through the night and into the next day, Samuel continued digging.

Parents placed flowers and pictures of their children on the ruins. But, Samuel just kept working.

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He picked up a beam and pushed it out of the way when he heard a faint cry. Finally he could see his son. Friends, how much more faithful is our heavenly Father! He is true to His character. He is reliable and trustworthy and can be counted on always. He does not fail, forget, falter, change, or disappoint. I was in the darkness of the subway, and it was close and oppressive, but I was moving toward the light and fragrance of the open country. I entered into a tunnel in the Black Country in England, but the motion was continued, and we emerged amid fields of loveliness.

Yes, His darknesses are appointed ways to His light. There is no stagnancy for the God-directed soul. The darkness is not thy bourn, the tunnel is not thy abiding home!

Jeremiah chapters 18 through 20

Excerpt : The Lord's people have many hard lessons which they have to learn in the 'school of Christ'. Each one has to carry a daily cross, and are burdened and pressed down under its weight Hab , 18, The writer of Lamentations reminds us of four wonderful truths that fill each day—and year—with hope.

Also see 1 John Truth 2—We are not Consumed. Truth 3—His Compassions Fail Not. Truth 4—Great Is Thy Faithfulness. Regardless of our emotional state, God is consistent and faithful. Excerpt : In all states of dilemma or of difficulty, prayer is an available source. The ship of prayer may sail through all temptations, doubts and fears, straight up to the throne of God; and though she may be outward bound with only griefs, and groans, and sighs, she shall return freighted with a wealth of blessings! A child had a little garden in which she planted many flowers, but they never grew.

The Preacher's Commentary - Vol. 19: Jeremiah and Lamentations

She put them in, as she thought tenderly and carefully, but they would not live. She sowed seeds and they sprang up; but very soon they withered away. So she ran to her father's gardener, and when he came to look at it, he said, "I will make it a nice garden for you, that you may grow whatever you want. The gardener struck his tool into the ground and began to make the earth heave and shake for his pickaxe had caught the edge of a huge stone which underlayed almost all the little plot of ground.

All the little flowers were turned out of their places and the garden spoiled for a season so that the little maid wept much. He told her he would make it a fair garden yet, and so he did, for having removed that stone which. Just so , the Lord has come, and has turned up all the soil of your present comfort to get rid of some big stone that was at the bottom of all your spiritual prosperity, and would not let your soul flourish.

Compassion becomes stale when it becomes thoughtless. It is new thought that keeps our pity strong. If our perception of need can remain vivid, as vivid as though we had never seen it before, our sympathies will never fail. The fresh eye insures the sensitive heart. He always sees it with an eye that is never dulled by the commonplace; He never becomes blind with much seeing! We can look at a thing so often that we cease to see it.

God always sees a thing as though He were seeing it for the first time.

The horrible can lose its horrors. The daily tragedy can become the daily commonplace.

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And therefore must I ask the Lord for the daily gift of discerning eyes. Excerpt : The Christian is surrounded by mercy.

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When he looks back, he can say, "Surely goodness, and mercy have followed me all the days of my life" Psalm When he looks ahead, he remembers the words of Jude "Looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness" Lamentations Excerpt : Well, gentlemen, remember this, there is no true happiness to be found in any earthly portions.

Solomon, having made a critical inquiry after the excellency of all creature comforts, gives this in as the ultimate extraction from them all, "Vanity of vanities, all is vanity. If you go to your bags, or heaps of gold and silver, they will tell you that happiness is not to be found in them. If you go to crowns and scepters, they will tell you that happiness is too precious and too glorious a gem to be found in them. Now this God, who is such a universal good, and who has all excellencies dwelling in Himself, says to the believer, "I am yours, and all that I have is yours!

Every believer has the whole God wholly; he has all of God for his portion. God is not a believer's portion in a limited sense, nor in a comparative sense—but in an absolute sense. Our property reaches to all that God is, and to all that God has. He has all—who has the Possessor of all.

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To be able to say, "God is mine! Lazarus having God for his portion, when he died he went to heaven without a rag on his back, or a penny in his purse! Whereas Dives, who did not have God for his portion when he died—went tumbling down to hell in all his riches, bravery, and glory. A Christian may be stripped of anything but his God; he may be stripped of his estate, his friends, his relations, his liberty, his life—but he can never be stripped of his God!